Amanda Genao Interview: Mommy Beautiful!

As a mother of two, a master's degree candidate and full time fitness instructor can easily take a lot of time off your day. But, even with all those personal challenges that life has to offer this little package of beauty overcame them!

A top 5 finisher at the 2004 NPC New England who shares with us that her trophy has breast implants. Preparing for shows for this young lady show is challenging.

As a mother of two, a master's degree candidate and full time fitness instructor can easily take a lot of time off your day. But, even with all those personal challenges that life has to offer this little package of beauty overcame them!

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Thanks Amanda for taking the time to talk with us, as I'm well aware of your hectic schedule. I understand you are doing your Masters at Univ. of Mass @ Amherst. In what?

    AG: NO problem... anything for! Yes, I am currently doing my Master's degree at UMass Amherst, in Student Development and Pupil Personnel Services. My concentration is in Social Justice Education. The field of Social Justice Education is fairly new.

    As American society becomes more and more diverse, there is a greater need for people who are trained to enter organizations, corporations, and institutions with skills to assess and interrupt oppressive behavioral patterns.

    For example, last year I taught two undergraduate seminars, one on racism, and another one on class. It was a great experience and I am sure my students left with a lot of knowledge and the will power to act in a more conscious, caring and loving manner to all human beings!

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The recent show you competed in was that your first show? Tell us about it?

    AG: No not really, the recent show I competed in was the NPC New England Championship. It was my second. However, I felt as I had been doing this for years. My first show was at the New England Fitness Weekend in October of 2003. It was a bummer and I didn't even place.

    I received all kinds of feedback and I basically sat back, reassessed my goals, and decided to do the show I just competed in. This was by far the best experience of my life! I placed 3rd in figure short class, and that also qualified me to compete at the national level.

    However, the pleasures came from me having achieved the goal of being a mother, a graduate student, and an employee and yet have to dedicate time to the emotional and mental challenge of dieting and training for weeks.

    I said in a previous interview that yes, it was great to walk away with a huge trophy, but it was the satisfaction of knowing that the work paid off and that I achieved MY own personal goal that made it all the better!

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How did you get involved in Figure/Fitness? Or is it only Figure competitions?

    AG: I have always, as far as I can remember, loved lifting weights. As a young girl, my parents always kept me away from doing "boy things" and that included sports. I was able to get away with running track in high school and I remember being the only girl that would hit the gym with the guys after putting in miles of practice runs.

    When I came to college at the age of 16 (yes, I was a freshman at 16!) I was breathing freedom and yes, I was at the gym much more than I was in the classroom! I was playing volleyball at an intramural level (and this shorty can spike, by the way!) and of course, I was lifting weights as well!

    The idea of muscle tone on a woman was always appealing, and contrary to popular societal belief, I think it also shows will power, mental and physical strength where we are not supposed to show it!

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16 as a college freshman! Wow! Now that was hard. And yes, you're right, to this date there are those who feel women should be "bare foot and pregnant walking three steps behind to the right." Where you a mom too at his time?

    AG: Of course, having children while in college and at a young age made it difficult to continue going to the gym, not to mention the financial circumstances I was under, so I put my love for weight training aside. It wasn't until I became a bit more independent and stable that I sought out a way to get back into the gym.

    When I did, oh boy... I was determined. I hooked up with my current trainer and friend Garrett Shepherd, who owned a local supplement store, and he put me in the right track. He hooked me up with competition information, put me in contact with a few women he had trained in the past, and it was all over!

    I remember being a bit on the "thick" side when I walked into the gym and telling everyone at the gym "I am going to bring back a trophy". It took me a couple of years, a few failures, but I did it. So you see, fitness is something that has always been in there... just had to find a way to get it out!

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Amanda, what got you started in these shows?

    AG: Well, I have always been into lifting. I was addicted to reading the hardcore bodybuilding magazines, and looking at how women transformed their bodies with muscles was very exciting to me. My trainer Garrett Shepherd owned a supplement stored here in Amherst at the time, and I had walked in several years ago to purchase some supplements.

    That's when it really started and we got to talk. I told him what my goal was, and he gave me a program. It wasn't a program to do shows or anything, but I think he was "testing" me in some sort of way... my will power and see if I would stick to it.

    It was maybe a year and half when he finally knew I was ready and gave me some information about a couple of shows that I should do, along with my diet and training plan. It was the most amazing experience and the biggest transformation I had ever seen in my physique. I am now addicted!

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So, you've learned some things?

    AG: What I have learned is that there are so many people that go to the gym, reach their goals, and then don't know what else to do with themselves.

    It is often that you need to find some sort of network that will give information on shows, competing, etc., in order to take the next step or take things to the next level.

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You look great for being a mom, if you had something to tell other mothers like yourself what would that be?

    AG: Don't be afraid to do this for yourself! I have seen people drop their jaws when they see me walking side by side with my son and daughter who are almost my height and they are like: "I can't believe those are your kids... you look great!" Although it is a very flattering comment, my reply is... "Well, what am I supposed to look like?" As if women who have given birth and have children are not allowed too look great!

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That's because most "normal" women don't feel it necessary to achieve a great fit body or to have goals.

    AG: It is good to have your own goals, and believe me, when you feel good, your family feels good too. Do this for YOU. Like the L'oreal commercial, you are worth it.

    The other thing is that we don't have to look perfect. I have my imperfections... I have stretch marks all over my 6 pack (8 when in training) and other areas of my body. When you are backstage, you see that even the women who don't have children share the joys of not being "perfect". Love what you got and work with it!

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Bravo! You did some things different for this last show, tell us what you did different?

    AG: Oh man... this one was a hard show to prepare for. I knew that I had to get more vascular and come in leaner while keeping the little muscle I have. My diet was a little different, harder to do, with a much higher percentage of protein than in the last show.

    I was also a bit more calculating with my cardio sessions because for the last show I over did it and was very, very lean, to the point that I lost a lot of muscle. I slowly increased cardio sessions and did no more than one hour the last couple of weeks, into 2 sessions. Last show I was doing 45 minutes about 4 weeks out and that didn't work.

    Also, I was under a lot of stress and pressure from my new job and attending to my children by myself. It was something I was not used to, but for this show, I was able to manage my time better and not be under so much stress obviously helped.

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No doubt. What else did you have to do? Do you make your own outfits like so many other girls?

    AG: (Laughing) Oh yeah right. I can't even sew a button into a shirt! All of my outfits are made by Lidia of Lidia-Conti Bodywear. For my first show, since I had no idea what I was doing, I couldn't find anyone to make my outfit for the show since it was too late.

    I was desperately browsing the Internet and there she was! She is great and I have stuck to her ever since. Her prices are also very reasonable!

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So, are you doing the USA or Nationals?

    AG: I am shooting to step on stage for Nationals in August, the one in conjunction with Team Universe. But, I tell you, dieting during the summer sucks! Everywhere you go there is food! HELP!

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That's why I'm the total opposite to everyone. Most get cut "ready for summer" and I keep getting bigger, because I love cooking and eating. I've also put up with many summers of starving because the wife was prepping for bodybuilding shows. So, I understand totally.

Amanda thanks for the interview are there any thanks or shout outs?

    AG: Of course. I would like to first and foremost, thank my 2 beautiful children for their support, their unconditional love and their joy when I wasn't feeling so hot.

    To my trainer, friend, and rock through these competitions, Garrett Shepherd. He knows his s**t like no one else I've ever met! To my family members, my brother and sisters and my cousins. I love you all. Shout outs to Oasis Tanning and BodyWraps and for their sponsorship and support!

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